Live Blog: Chasing ‘Bloody Gina’

Scan-63-640x543Thought I’d put this up for those of us following the Senate hearings for the CIA DIrector.  This is an extremely important hearing as it continues to ask us to define who we are as a country.  KKKremlin Caligula has a history of loving the idea of torture.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that waterboarding “works.” But scientists say otherwise. Research has shown that the stress and pain caused by techniques like waterboarding can hinder a person from recalling information.

The president, who made similar claims on the campaign trail, said in a Jan. 25 interviewwith ABC News’ David Muir when asked about waterboarding, “Absolutely I feel it works.” He said that “I have spoken to others in intelligence. And they are big believers in, as an example, waterboarding. … Because they say it does work. It does work.”

A day later, in a Jan. 26 interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump called waterboarding “just short of torture,” and said, “I will tell you, though, it works. And I just spoke to people who told me it worked, and that’s what they do.” Trump and Hannity also agreed that neither of them had “even a doubt that it works.”

This is a test of how we view our public servants and how they respond to requests to violate our standing laws.


 From The Daily Beast:

‘She Should Have Fought Back. Other People Did’: Inside Gina Haspel’s Black Site
Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri’s attorneys say Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director is disqualified by her role in brutality and disrespect for the law.v “

“Under the Convention Against Torture that the U.S. is a party to, we’re obligated to pursue and prosecute torturers, not give them promotions. What does it say to the world that the person who may have been directly responsible, and certainly was indirectly responsible for this torture, who never stood up and said ‘Don’t do it,’ is now the person who might be leading the very agency we know committed that torture?”

Hollander’s client was tortured at a black site in Thailand that Haspel ran in late 2002. Declassified CIA documents indicate that Nashiri’s torture, which his attorneys say has left lasting mental damage, was controversial within the agency. But those documents provide no indication that Haspel opposed it, let alone stopped it—particularly when CIA headquarters pushed to intensify the torture at a subsequent black site. Interrogators who didn’t work directly for Haspel even engaged in a miniature revolt over torture that they considered egregious.

“The person we know most about, whom the [Senate torture report] called the ‘chief interrogator,’ he’s the only person we’re expressly aware protested Nashiri’s torture—after torturing Nashiri for quite awhile,” said Michel Paradis, a senior counsel with the Pentagon’s Office of Military Commissions who has aided Nashiri’s defense. “That’s the only one we’ve found from the black sites.”

Haspel goes before the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday morning and leaked excerpts of her opening statement indicate she will tell the panel that “under my leadership, CIA will not restart such a detention and interrogation program.” But her nomination is so far from assured, even after an intense and unusual public push from the CIA to confirm the three-decade agency veteran, that she considered quitting late last week. While the agency has emphasized everything about Haspel’s career except torture—pushing her basketball fandom and a pre-torture meeting with Mother Teresa—Trump, a vocal torture enthusiast, indicated that he considered her torture record, or “being too tough on terrorists,” a virtue.


From WAPO; ‘Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to lead CIA, pledges she won’t restart interrogation program’.

Gina Haspel told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday that she “will not restart” the CIA’s brutal interrogation program if confirmed to lead the agency, and that she would obey her moral compass, not President Trump, if she is ever instructed to carry out other questionable activities.

“My moral compass is strong,” Haspel said, as the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Mark R. Warner (Va.), pressed her to define “your moral code.”

“I would not allow CIA to undertake activity that is immoral, even if it is technically legal. I would absolutely not permit it,” Haspel continued. “I believe CIA must undertake activities that are consistent with American values.”

Senators have asked several of Trump’s Cabinet nominees to commit to stand up to the president, and inform Congress if he were to pressure them to do anything legally or morally questionable. But the pledge takes on extra significance with Haspel, whose hearing centered around the role she played in the CIA’s interrogation program — something Trump said on the campaign trail he wouldn’t mind bringing back into practice.

Haspel told senators that she doubted the president would ever ask her to waterboard a suspect, stressing that experience had shown that the “CIA is not the right place to conduct interrogations” as it does not have the proper expertise.

The WAPO site is livecasting the hearing.

Please add what you think about all of this.

55 Comments on “Live Blog: Chasing ‘Bloody Gina’”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Here are some links you may want to follow as well as watching the live broadcast. Obviously, a lot of the torture questions have been delegated to an afternoon session so classified information can be shared.

    She is saying that the CIA shouldn’t handle interrogations but the military should handle it.

    9/11 Planner, Tortured by C.I.A., Asks to Tell Senators About Gina Haspel

    Khalid Shaik Mohammed asks to provide a statement to the Senate Committee.

    I Have a Few Questions for Gina Haspel
    By Fatima Boudchar

    In 2004, Ms. Boudchar was held at a secret detention site in Thailand, where she was tortured.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks for this, Dak. I’m still so obsessed with last night’s Russia news that I have multiple tabs open, but I’ll turn on the hearing and try to pay attention. I just don’t know what to think about Haspel yet. Lots of people are saying whoever would be nominated next would be so much worse.

    • bostonboomer says:

      The story by Fatima B. is horrifying.

  2. dakinikat says:

  3. bostonboomer says:

    The hearing is over already? They’re going into closed session this afternoon.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Trump is speaking now, being asked about Iran. He sounds crazed, arms crossed.

    Yesterday when he spoke he was slurring his words again, his face was pale and he had trouble getting the words out.

    • bostonboomer says:

      • quixote says:

        Which of his many fine drugs do you think is causing that?

        At this rate, the remaining strands of hair holding the weave in place will fall out from the stress, and then the Dump will resign overnight. Can’t be a Hair Fuhrer without Hair. He wouldn’t be able to face the world.

        To think that that pile of rotting mashed potatoes is representing the US in Asia. I’m so old I remember when I thought the Shrub was terrible. Good times.

        • NW Luna says:

          “I remember when I thought the Shrub was terrible.”

          Dubya seems like such an innocent now compared to Caligula. I fear the distortion with Trump will last a long time.

      • jane says:

        I think that is how he sounds when he tried to read a short paragraph. It is so difficult for him that he is having a panic attack while trying to act like an adult. Would not rule out drugs though.

        • bostonboomer says:

          It could be drugs. Remember that WH doctor was handing speed and downers out like candy. Or it could be cognitive deficits from aging.

  5. dakinikat says:

    White male baby boomers who go to church weekly continue to be Trump’s source of support plus their captive wives …

    • quixote says:

      “White male baby boomers who go to church weekly continue to be Trump’s source of support plus their captive wives ”

      Now there is the most perfect description of his MAGAts I’ve ever seen.

      • dakinikat says:

        and on the other side:

  6. dakinikat says:

    Trump tweeting about yanking media credentials because fake and negative news about him … poor widdle Caligula

  7. bostonboomer says:

    • dakinikat says:

      whoa … November 2017 … imagine how much further down the rabbit hole things have gone since then and we’re just learning about it from some stuff leaked from somewhere to a porn star’s lawyer

    • dakinikat says:

      • dakinikat says:

        • quixote says:

          Yeah, right. That’s the most important thing when all you’re dealing with is conspiracy against the US — by the president* –, bribery — of the president*–, money laundering — for the president*–. What’s vital is to figure out who provided the evidence.

          Seriously, I don’t think it’s misplaced priorities. I think they’re hoping to terrorize anyone else thinking of leaking.

    • NW Luna says:

      Oh, what’s a little $1,200,000.00 here and there… So hard to keep track of these petty amounts.

      Wonder how much more was going on.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    • dakinikat says:

      Every Dem senator was trying to get her to say what she did was immoral …

    • NW Luna says:

      Means her definition of “moral” includes torture. This is evil. Torture doesn’t even work — people will say anything to have the torture stopped.

    • dakinikat says:

  9. Minkoff Minx says:

    Thank you Dak, I’m just waking up now.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    The piece by Erik Wemple on the Haspel flap between The Daily Beast and other sources is worth reading.

    The Daily Beast refuses to budge on its Gina Haspel story

  11. Pat Johnson says:

    I know I am not alone in my loathing of Trump.

    So sick of his voice and face I could vomit.

    He is now hinting about the Nobel Peace Prize. Not sure how much more I can take before my head explodes.

    Such an odious creature that it defies credulity in how he is where he is today.

    Come on Mueller, speed it up!

  12. dakinikat says:


    This nexus of white supremacy and Russian influence is where this story has significance on a global scale. The emergence of a hard right nationalism, pushed by certain actors (Russia especially) is the undertow on everything we’re experiencing right now.

  13. dakinikat says:

  14. bostonboomer says:

    This story is getting worse by the minute.

  15. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Avenatti may bring Trump down faster than Mueller. We can only hope.

    • dakinikat says:

      The Porn Star’s Lawyer Maps the Trump Money Trail

      Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd., an aircraft manufacturer, paid Cohen $150,000 last November. After that payment came to light on Tuesday night, the South Korean company declined to comment. Korea Aerospace has partnered with Lockheed Martin Corp., the U.S. defense contractor, to bid on a multibillion-dollar training jet contract that the U.S. Air Force plans to award this year. Could Cohen have helped Korea Aerospace secure that contract? Who knows?

      Novartis Investments, a subsidiary of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG, paid Cohen about $400,000 between October and January. A Novartis spokesman said payments to Cohen ended in January and its contract with the lawyer expired before the company’s new CEO took over in February. Could Cohen have helped Novartis navigate the tangle of regulations that the federal government imposes on big pharmaceutical companies? Who knows?

    • Enheduanna says:

      I sure hope Avenatti got this info legitimately and that he doesn’t have any abuse scandals in his closet a la Schneiderman. Also he should probably wear Kevlar and not go up in small planes. People think he’s a flagrant media whore but he’s never bothered me (although I ain’t watching cable anymore).

      • quixote says:

        Slagging people off for being media whores is stupid. Consider me, for instance. I’m the opposite of a media whore. I actively dislike attention. Have you noticed my ideas taking the world by storm? A crowd beating a path to my door for the better mousetrap? Of course not!

        In the current media climate you *have* to be a media whore to be effective. The only question is whether you do it on the side of truth and justice or on the side of the criminals and kleptocrats. Avenatti is in Box A, at least in this case, and more power to him!

        • bostonboomer says:

          Avenatti is great TV because he’s smart and knows what he’s talking about.

        • NW Luna says:

          Exactly. How often does Drumpf get called a media whore? Though I have problems with the whole concept of “whore” as an insult. Girls and women get forced into prostitution or get into it because it pays better (depending on the pimp/madam) than most anything else they could do. They get all the scorn whereas their customers usually escape it.

  16. NW Luna says:

    Progbros are still clutching their hopes of Kucinich and other Bernie-types in spite of reality.

  17. NW Luna says:

  18. NW Luna says:

  19. NW Luna says:

  20. NW Luna says:

  21. NW Luna says:


    Lloyd’s underwriters told to stop insurance linked to NRA

    LONDON (Reuters) – Lloyd’s of London [SOLYD.UL] said on Wednesday it would direct underwriters to terminate all insurance offered, marketed, endorsed or otherwise made available through the National Rifle Association of America.